Friday, June 11, 2010


This week's perspective from Bob Reid:

I’ll admit, hindsight is always 20/20. But foresight is indispensible in high profile communications, and the federal government obviously falls into the category. Somebody should have seen it coming. When the planning for the G-20 and G-8 summits was underway, I’m sure the notion of a Muskoka-themed backdrop (for the majority of the global media contingent who will not be making the trip to Huntsville, but will have to “cover” the G-8 gathering there from the G-20 media centre in Toronto) was viewed as a highly creative idea. However, given the massive cost of staging the summits overall – which quickly became a dominant issue in Parliament and at the water coolers of the nation – the “fake lake” became the symbolic flashpoint. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his ministers have defended the summits as a tremendous marketing opportunity for Canada on the world stage, but to little avail. Media outlets have been busy running naming contests and critics have won the quote wars. The best issue management is not to have an issue at all, and knowing that the price tag of the summits would be a big one, the feds should have been on red alert for anything that could become an icon of summit spending gone wild.

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